Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunlight - A Personal Enlightenment of who I am and the people I surrounded myself with

Personal Enlightenment 
Like the old proverb "A stopped clock is still right twice a day". I want to thank my "friends" who had contributed tremendously in my own personal growth. You know, anyone, even bad friends can teach us something. I stumbled upon this truth and it really awakens me that the friends I keep and meet often is actually a reflection of who I am. And honestly, I've been "bad". But thanks to them, I realised this fact and able to immediately move on with my own personal growth and not be like them. I feel this is an important entry because this entry will remind me and others in the future of what NOT to become. Basically, there are 3 types of "bad friends" - The Drama Queens, Babies and Hypocrites.

The Queens
Let's start with the Drama Queens. This sort of people simply must know everything about you when they start to become your friends. They will ask you about your sexual tastes/orientation, your work, where you stay, who you live with, your job, just about everything. The worst part is, once they know, they will begin to question the validity of the facts given, demanding, observing and questioning your behaviors and attitudes towards them. That's why they are called Queens, because they expected to get the respect and knowledge from you, and when it comes to their friends who do the questioning, they do not reciprocate. Worst, they always think they are right.

The Baby
Now the second sort of bad friends are The Babies. This group of people constantly yearns for others who are more good-looking than them, more "luckier than them, more just about anything than them. Their admiration for others are always expressed in repressed and sometimes sexual ways, very much like the cries of babies for milk. The problem is: they are already adults! They do not seek to make any effort in getting what they want, and simply just let things happen. Worst, they think they have the "aura" to attract others to them and constantly boast about their past conquests and achievements to others. Nostalgia and sentimentality is always the topic of their conversations. And when they don't get what they desires, they cries to each other, seeking some form of acknowledgement and validity for their wishful yearnings. What's awful, they look at me and seek my empathy like a baby. Babies also possess strong memory in keeping scores with you about the past.

The Hypocrites
The third part of bad friends are The Hypocrites. Be extremely aware of this group of friends, for at first they seem very friendly. They will cleverly speak of their thoughts and opinions in short bursts of words passionately, somtimes its funny, other times in great dramatic tones of voice, but always at the expense of bringing their friends down or correcting them in some ways in the end, through the disguise of "helping" them to understand themselves better. This group of people are often very vocal in a group situation, so as to cover up their own insecurities and changes their opinions often in tandem with the flow of the dialogue. Sometimes, they will do their own monologues, showing off their emotional selves, empathising others for their misfortunes, but never take the mirror and reflect on themselves. But soon, they will come back at you and scrutinise your behavior too and deem you not worthy to be called their friends.

You are whom you keep as friends
For aspiring artistes out there, be aware of these 3 groups of bad friends and try to stay away from them. You are whom you keep as friends. These type of people are repressed, and in real life often babbles like an intellectual. But of course if you have friends who are like these, then you can be like me and learn something out from it as a benefit. Immediately after last encounter with these bad friends, my mind began to open and realise how much time and energy are wasted in keeping those "friendships". Being a working artiste is even more crucial to clear your minds off this sort of negative influence, for truly, you have nothing to offer them.

Soon, I began to use my camera and capture pictures with the reflections of the sunlight on it. I find these pictures captivating and elusive. The shapes of the shadows and lights reflected on the surface are all temporary. Within the space of a few minutes, they are all gone! I feel my inspiration for the pictures taken, comes from the encounter I had with those "bad friends". They all know I'm an artiste, and perhaps they might be jealous or curious to know about my life. I believe their behavior and attitudes toward me is a precursor to  bigger things to come. The media reporters act just like the way they do, especially the paparazzi who are out to get dirt. But the big difference is, I accepted them as my "friends". A good practise for me as an artiste for I should be able to prep myself for more of such encounters. I am so thankful to come to this realisation through my "bad friends".

7 Lessons learned from "bad friends"
Now, the purpose of writing this entry is of course to share what I've learned, some I already know, but out from the "bad friends" encounter, the things I know seem to become even more prominent. Below are the tips all of us should strive to maintain, when having conversations or meetings with friends:

1) Being respectful to your friends means giving space to your friends when they do not want to share parts of themselves. Don't judge your friends and say they are "acting" in front of you, because they have the right not to share. Worst, when you force people to share, you might not get the truth.

2) Don't judge your friends as being unfriendly towards you due to their behaviors and attitudes towards you at certain places and times. This is because you do not know what he's going through. For example, if he's not giving you the eye contact when you're talking to him, don't immediately accuse him of being untruthful. Your approach could mean you are being too forceful in your questioning and intrusive.

3) Proof is not needed to uphold the statements you give, simply because we're just friends! Certain friends wants to see proof of what you said, but they have nothing to do with your work whatsoever. So don't bother about giving in to them. But you can still choose to share, if you want to. If they accuse you of lying, just be it. That sort of friendship is not worth maintaining. For example, one of my friend demanded proof that I am involved in a certain project. So I gave him the project details, and he type it in the internet to check out. But when the results were not what he expected, he quickly jump into assumptions, twisting facts on his own. Here's come the fourth point.

4) Be careful of your own assumptions, words and perception about others because they are in fact a reflection of yourself! I have this "friend" who was obviously a hypocrite, who often avoids speaking of himself, and often berate others of their actions. So uncool...and obvious to me, for I am observing him too.

5) Always remember that you are just a friend, not a mother. Bad friends always magnify little little things about you like your behaviors and attitudes, and questions your motives and intentions. They will delve into the psychology of your mind, bring up past cases just to show how clever they are in knowing you, but in fact they don't know anything.

6) Go back to the purpose of the friendship. Is it for work related? Is it for some shared interests? If the friendship does not meet any of your needs, but instead makes you feel worst than you already do, it's best to end it. It may be painful to cut off these ties, but pain only signify growth, and growth is what we seek. Growth is important for your healthy self-image.

7) And finally, just relax and enjoy each other's companionship. Don't sweat the small stuff because it's all small stuff. If you feel they are not the right friends for you, simply don't contact or go near them again. You can always make new friends and start afresh.